BATON ROUGE – After winning each of their first two matches to kick off the season, the LSU Tigers will look to maintain their perfect start to the 2014 campaign on Sunday evening when they welcome the Rice Owls to Baton Rouge for an early-season non-conference test that is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
Fans can “Geaux Free!” to each of LSU’s nine remaining home matches during the 2014 regular season as admission is free at the LSU Soccer Stadium, compliments of The Advocate.
Fans who are unable to attend the match are invited to follow the action through social media as they can receive live updates from the ground by following @LSUSoccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lsusoccer and by liking LSU Soccer’s official Facebook page at http://facebook.com/lsusoccer. They are also invited to join in the team’s live in-game chat on Facebook during each match during the 2014 season.
The Tigers (2-0) and Owls (1-1-1) have played a hotly-contested series in recent years with each team earning a victory and playing to a draw in their three meetings since 2011. Rice scored a 1-0 extra time victory in the inaugural meeting between the two sides in Houston three seasons ago, while the Tigers played the Owls to a 1-1 draw in Baton Rouge in 2012 before picking up a 1-0 win in Houston a year ago.
Rice is coming off its first victory of the 2014 campaign after picking up a 2-0 shutout at Lamar on Friday night. The Owls opened with a narrow 1-0 extra time defeat at Baylor before drawing Dayton by a 2-2 scoreline.
The Tigers are off to a 2-0 start for the second-straight season and are looking to improve to 3-0 to start a season for the first time since the 2008 campaign when they opened with a school-record seven-game winning streak to start a season. LSU has opened a season with a perfect 3-0 mark on five previous occasions.
LSU exploded for six goals in a 6-2 win over Northwestern State on Friday night after kicking off the season with a 2-0 shutout of Troy a week ago. Strikers Summer Clarke and Lexi Gibbs each scored two goals on Friday to lead the Tiger attack, while midfielder Natalia Gomez-Junco and striker Jorian Baucom each chipped in with a goal of their own after opening their accounts with both goals against Troy on opening night.
The Tigers have featured a potent attack to start the season with nine different players assisting the team’s eight goals through two matches, including Mexican international Fernanda Pina with two assists.
First-Team All-Conference USA striker Holly Hargreaves leads the Owl attack as she tops the team’s scoring charts this season with two goals for the campaign. Junior striker Lauren Hughes and junior defender Danielle Spriggs have each chipped in with one goal apiece as Rice as netted four times through three matches heading into Sunday’s contest.
Sunday’s match will feature “Faith & Family Night” at the LSU Soccer Stadium as fans are encouraged to bring their families and local youth groups are invited to attend as special guests when the Tigers take on the Rice Owls. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and members of the LSU Soccer team who are also members of FCA will meet with fans following the contest.
After playing host to Rice on Sunday night, the Tigers will wrap up their four-game homestand to start the season on Tuesday when they welcome the Nicholls State Colonels to Baton Rouge for a match that is set for a 7 p.m. CT start time. They will head on the road for the first time next weekend with a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, to battle the TCU Horned Frogs on Friday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m.